United We Stand, Divided We Fall?
The topic of this week's blog post certainly raises some questions. In theory, and in a normal world, but then, what is considered normal? That statement is true. However, in today's world and the present state of our society, is it? The more people that speak out about something, the louder their voices are, but is anyone listening? A very common phrase that is often used is; "I hear you." I'm asking; do they? Doesn't the answer depend on who is listening? Does the end justify the means? Can we be united in such a way that we lose the meaning of what we are untied about? Are the people that claim to be united actually united? The bottom line is, as the complexity of life grows each day, the truth is, we are less united, regardless of how many people are speaking.
LET"S ANSWER SOME OF THOSE QUESTION:
Let's use "peaceful protests" as our first example. Most people know that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. However, like it or not, peaceful protests rarely yielded results, and it takes quite some time to achieve those results. A good example of this would be the stimulus package. Millions of Americans have been speaking out on this, needing help, and after three months, some of the most intelligent minds can't come to a deal. Everyone is warm and fuzzy, they meet and greet, state their case, and usually, nothing gets done about it. History has proven that time and time again. Hence, people now become more forceful in their methods of protesting. Usually, as history also shows us, this now results in violence, injury, destruction, and at times, death. The double-edged sword is, when this occurs, the meaning of the cause and what you are protesting about begins to get lost. However, as sad as it is, it gets noticed and causes others to react. Does it solve the issue? History also shows that rarely does it solve anything. Minor changes may initially occur, but the root of the problem is not solved. Therefore, when peaceful protests don't work, and violent protests don't work, what does? That's the million-dollar question.
We must understand that solving any problem relies on the people listening realizing there is a problem and accepting it. Secondly, they must listen and be prepared to institute change. Peaceful or not, if those who can institute the required change do not, the solution becomes changing the people who are listening. In this case, United we stand, divided we fall simply does not work because being united or divided will not change the outcome. For the phrase "I hear you" to work, someone not only has to be listening, but they also have to be willing to institute change. Not just appease you for now, but to make the required change for a better future.
How is "Does the end justify the means" defined? Simply put, it means that the desired result, if obtained, is more important than what was done to achieve it. Again, a good example might be protests, but let's look at another part of history. How about war? When the US drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the number of people killed and injured was estimated at 150,00 for Hiroshima, and 75,000 for Nagasaki. Simple math shows that the total of the two represents approximately 225,000 people affected. I would venture to guess that most of these lives were civilians. The historians claim the dropping of these two bombs saved ten million people. What do you think? In this example, did the end justify the means? Could there have been another way? This subject has been debated since 1945. If interested, check out this article on ABC by Philip Jenkins.
When it comes to being united, most people are selective. Meaning, they will only go so far to be part of the unity of the cause. Yes, they will raise their voices, carry a sign, complain about things at work, be a part of the union that represents them, but when it comes to personal loss, now the line in the sand gets drawn. Very few will risk personal harm, and even less will risk financial loss. Many become victims because they get caught up in the moment and do something they would NEVER normally do. Anyone could post something on social media. What's the risk? Someone might unfriend them? Someone might disagree that causes a back and forth word argument? Maybe their post might get banned by the social media platform they are using? Other than that, THEY DO NOT HAVE ANY SKIN IN THE GAME. There is no risk of personal injury or financial loss.
WHAT IS BEING UNITED?
Being united means that people are joined together socially, politically, or for other reasons for a common purpose or set of feelings. No where does it state anyone has to put their finances or personal safety on the line. For some, they do. Is it reasonable to assume that our police, fire, and first responders are united in their cause? I can tell you first hand as a retired career firefighter and first responder, they are. Isn't it also safe to assume they put their personal safety on the line, and if sued, risk their personal finances should the lawsuit be so large that it exceeds the limits of the liability policy of their employer? And now, with the new accountability laws for police, as of the middle of 2021, police officers can be personally sued. How many everyday people who work regular jobs are willing to be united to that degree? Many decades ago, criminals were united. Very few, if any, squealed on one another. That came at a very high price. Then came witness protection. Now, that unity has mostly gone by the wayside. People look to protect themselves when the risks are great. Greater than what they are willing to encounter.
I am not saying that as people we are not or do not have the willingness or desire to be united, what I am saying is, times have changed. The way people think and act has changed, Therefore, being united no longer holds the same meaning. Look at it as selective unification. Take a look at politics. How united are politicians? Both parties have drawn a line in the sand and are more divided now than ever. This has a trickle-down effect on the people, causing them to be divided as well. Years back a Democrat was a Democrat for life and the same with Republicans. Now, they switch parties at will. Why, because in the world in which we all live, much more is accepted. Look at the Pope's recent ruling about same-sex marriages and the gay community? For decades they were not accepted by the church. How many years did it take for that to change? Simply put, it had to because these are the accepted norms of our times. Therefore, either go with the changing times or lose your religious followers to another faith that supports current times and modern-day thinking. In any religion, loss of followers equals loss of revenue. How many Catholics have turned their back on the church because they became divorced and can no longer receive certain sacraments?
I could go on and on about people being united or divided and whether or not we stand or fall, and there is will always be exceptions to any rule. I've said this time and time again. We live in a disposable world. We replace things rather than fix them. We do this in our personal lives as well as business, politics, laws, or anything else. Yes, some things do need replacing. However, not all things need to be replaced. The phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," was thought of for a reason. We do not always have to reinvent the wheel. In most cases, we only need to improve the wheel. As a society, when things are not getting done, when the proper change is not occurring, we should be concentrating on replacing those who are not getting things done. This is why we vote and have elections. Never listen to rumors. Explore the facts, and pick the individual we feel will get the job done within the area that is acceptable to you as an individual. In roughly a week, you will have that opportunity. Hopefully, one day we will get back to the true meaning of the phrase, "United we stand, divided we fall."
Thank you ... Caesar Rondina
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